SINGAPORE - When Kiss92 DJ Carol Smith needs an extra push to complete her 7km runs thrice a week, she turns to her favourite Christmas music and fast-paced songs like Beyonce's Run The World (Girls).
"When I'm tired but need to go on, listening to a pacy song helps me keep up the pace rather than slow down," Smith, 45, told The Straits Times.
"Once you slow down, you start feeling defeated and give in to your tiredness, then you feel lazy.
"But when a song that I really like comes on, it helps me run faster and I feel like superwoman. It's like you thought you're at your maximum, but no! I can go faster."
Smith had these songs and her handy Technics AZ70 true wireless earbuds accompany her when she completed 17.5km for The Straits Times Virtual Run (STVR) on Thursday (Oct 15) morning. The 17.5km race, which began on Oct 9, ends on Oct 23. Participants can record the distance over multiple sessions.
To challenge herself, Smith completed the race in two days, clocking 8.5km in her first session and 10km in her second.
She was proud that she met her target pace of 8mins/km in the second session.
"(The second session) was slightly tougher but the weather helped. It's been nice and windy the past few days which made my runs very pleasant," she added.
Smith usually runs at East Coast Park before going to the gym in her condominium to run another 5km on the treadmill and lift weights.
She added: "Running on the treadmill can feel monotonous sometimes. With nice music, that's motivating and it helps time pass faster.
"Sometimes I get distracted by the sound of my feet pounding on the treadmill, so this pair of noise-cancelling earphones is good because it blocks out 90 per cent of the noise. I feel like I'm in a music bubble, which helps me run faster."
The AZ70 is an ideal companion for those taking on the ST Virtual Run. The event also has a 175km race which begins on Oct 19 and ends on Dec 17.
Conventional true wireless headphones can cause brief interruptions of Bluetooth connections when in crowded places but its reliable Bluetooth connectivity ensures uninterrupted listening.
Besides its industry-leading, noise-cancelling features, it also boasts high-performance MEMS microphones that can suppress wind noise and reduce other unpleasant noises, thus improving call quality.
If runners exercising in a pleasant environment such as a park wish to enjoy the noise in the environment, one needs only to tap the touch sensor to switch to a mode (Ambient Sound mode) to capture external sounds while listening to music. By tapping the sensor for two seconds, the user can switch between "Noise Cancelling", "Ambient Sound" and "OFF."
The earbuds' rounded body fits comfortably in the ears even for long periods of use and when fully charged, the battery provides six hours of continuous playback (when the noise cancellation is turned ON).
Smith started running regularly in 2007 when she wanted to complete the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.
But after running up to 18km almost every day to train for it, her knees started hurting and she reduced her distance to 10km four times a week. She was also unable to participate in the SCSM because of her knee injury.
Instead, she started enjoying hot yoga as it helped with her flexibility and recovery after running.
Running later took a backseat as she started cycling last August and only ran two to three times a week.
When the circuit breaker started in April, Smith stopped running completely and just started again in July because she missed it.
She said: "I felt very sluggish and I had put on weight during the circuit breaker.
"I missed running. I love the sense of freedom and it's a lot of alone time. Running along East Coast Park is very relaxing and I love the beach."
Besides keeping fit, she also uses her runs to improve her mental health as she meditates and stretches for 15 minutes at the halfway point of her runs.
"It's calming and you can centre yourself in the midst of running. It's about improving mental health as well," she explained. "I let my mind go blank for a bit and take in the day. I practise mindfulness and focus on my senses. With Covid, it's been such a tough year so it's important to remember to be grateful for the things we have."